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Harem Scarem: Change The World
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Harem Scarem: Change The World

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.5/5.0

Whoa. Thirty years. That's how long Canada's Harem Scarem has been in the melodic hard rock game. Well, that's excepting a small name change in Canada to Rubber in 1999 for two albums under that moniker (at least the name wasn't condom or prophylactic). Then there was the brief five year hiatus between 2008 and 2013. With their re-recording resurrection of Mood Swings II, Harem Scarem has been consistently releasing new studio albums. This day, Harem Scarem drops their 15th long player, Change The World, remaining with the Frontiers Music label.

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Harem Scarem

Change The World finds Harem Scarem continuing to follow the more assertive melodic hard rock sound found in the previous United. A spin or two through and I was ready to call their sound more melodic metal rock. Guitarist Pete Lesperance's riffs sound more sharp and intense, his solos more blistering and emphatic. The rhythm section continues to project a rock beat and groove, but perhaps with the thumb on the scale of metal heaviness. While never coarse or screamo, Harry Hess can be assertive as well, sounding much more raging within Searching For Meaning or especially The Death Of Me. (None of this is entirely unsual. Hess and Lesperance began their careers in a heavy metal band.)

Yet, within this mix, Harem Scarem never loses the gloss and smoothness of their AOR roots. To do so would be like asking Donald Trump to stop being an obnoxious twat. Ergo, anything that seems heavy is tempered by the song melody, vocal harmony, and crafty, catchy choruses. Otherwise, that AOR groove rises to a peak within Mother Of Invention, the anthemic ballad No Me Without You, and the obviously radio-friendly and arena ready rocker, Change The World. Then, Harem Scarem will continue to kick out the jams with the fast and heavy riff rockers Riot In My Head and Fire & Gasoline. To sum up, with Change The World, Canadian rockers Harem Scarem have delivered another consistent and entertaining album of melodic hard rock, perhaps with more metal edge, and always dressed in an AOR wrapper. Easily recommended.


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The Bottom Line

With Change The World, Canadian rockers Harem Scarem have delivered another consistent and entertaining album of melodic hard rock, perhaps with more metal edge, and always dressed in an AOR wrapper. Easily recommended.

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